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High wind gusts pound northern Utah, knocking out power and delaying schools

SHARE High wind gusts pound northern Utah, knocking out power and delaying schools

Sean Drake helps brother-in-law Lyle Bair after high winds blew over two large pine trees in the yard of Bair’s home in Washington Terrace on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. One of the trees landed on Bair’s home, damaging his carport, his car and other items.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — High winds approaching nearly 70 mph in northern Utah led to power outages, damaged homes and delayed the start of schools in Weber County by two hours.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City says the high wind warning for northern Salt Lake County, as well as Davis and Weber counties, remained in effect until noon Tuesday.

The agency, as of 9:45 a.m., recorded gusts of 69 mph at Park Lane and U.S. 89 in Farmington; 59 mph in Centerville; 52 mph at Hill Air Force Base; 42 mph at Riverdale Road and I-84; and 58 mph at the Brigham City Airport.

The winds were not as monumental as the winds that blew through Sept. 7-8 last year, which prompted President Donald Trump to sign a major disaster declaration last week, freeing up federal funding to help offset damages.

That storm had gusts of up to 100 miles per hour, tipped over semitrailers, ripped trees from the ground, damaged buildings and knocked out power to the homes of 180,000 Utahns. Some people were without power for more than a week because the damage was so extensive.

The Utah Division of Emergency Management is working with the Federal Emergency Management to administer funds that will be made available to Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Morgan counties for the September storm.

Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson said Tuesday about 1,400 customers were impacted by power outages due to the winds, the majority of them concentrated from Centerville north into Weber County.

Many of those outages have been addressed by crews that were put on standby in anticipation of the gusty storm, she said.

“We were prepared for this,” Erickson said.

Outages happened as a result of entire trees falling into power lines or the wind knocking out transmission infrastructure.